Vintage Race Ready: 1928 Ford Model A

Here’s one from what seems like a bygone era, a 1928 Ford Model A that’s ready for “The Race of Gentlemen”  (TROG) competition. It has that real, “Go, Went, Gone” vibe that open-top hot-rods of the late ’40s possessed. And this subject appears to have been professionally and carefully prepared. It’s located Titusville, Florida, and available here on craigslist for $18,000. Thanks to Ikey H. for this tip!

TROG is a vintage car and motorcycle race event that is held annually in southern New Jersey Many of the participants are similar in nature to this Model A. The hot-rod theme has been faithfully executed here with the missing fenders and hood and the remaining body coated in a flat finish that is reminiscent of old fashioned primer. The wide whitewall tires complete the picture. The body integrity and frame of this roadster are in nice straight shape too; the seller adds, “some rust for patina” though it isn’t evident in the images unless he’s referencing some of the suspension components.

Floorboard is a very apt term with a car like this as that’s exactly what it is, a wooden board. Of course, that’s pretty convenient too when all you need to do to construct new floors is hit your nearest big-box retailer and select the piece of plywood that you think will best do the trick. This Ford has a very “built at home” feel about it, it’s well done, but the seller gives a nod to Steve’s Hot-Rod Garage in Michigan as one of the constructors.

The running gear in this “A” is from a 1930 version and features headers, an Ansen aluminum intake manifold, and a 2 barrel carburetor attached to a 201 CI, in-line, four-cylinder engine that originally developed 40 HP. There is no word on how this Ford runs and drives though the seller claims that it’s good to go for October’s TROG so the assumption is that it operates well. A standard three-speed manual transmission handles the gear changing chores.

There’s not much to talk about interior-wise as there’s not much of an interior in general. It’s a two-seater, at best, in a very stripped down, but clean overall condition that dovetails perfectly with the exterior. There appears to be a rectangular gauge panel installed that’s a bit different than stock about that’s about it for modifications. The seat and door cards have been upholstered in a tan material, of unknown fabric, but it has been applied well but very minimal in its presence.

This “A” is a bit of a departure from many similar undertakings that prefer a Chevy small-block V8 engine transplant – so points for originality (mostly). It does seem doubtful, however, that the modest engine enhancements have done much to improve power output. Nevertheless, this is a well-executed Model A hot-rod and would be fun for general cruising, TROG racing, or anything in between, don’t you think?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    It’s here where you hope there are hidden fuel tank mounts to further enhance the tie-down straps wrapped around it. Have a machinist friend who builds competition A engines. Amazing what kind of horse power you can get out of the engines. He’s got a salts flat A powered drop tank car that’s good for over 145 mph. This car is just right.

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      A perfect example of a “race car” built by someone that’s probably never seen one in person.

      It’s hard to believe someone would thing using two glorified bungee cords to hold a gas tank, mounted in an enclosed trunk is a good idea. Even the most lax tech inspector would laugh at them as he handed them back their tech card with FAIL written in bold letters across the front.

      Steve R

      Like 3
  2. Steve RM

    Has no one noticed it’s a T body, not an A?

    Like 3
  3. Arthur

    Looks like a T and not an A

    Like 3
  4. Joe Haska

    I think this build is best suited for TROG and if you don’t want to build your own car, buy this one, and go have fun. However , i don’t see it being very useful as some sort of driver or cruiser.

  5. Last 1LE

    Just curious…what part of this car is 1928? The body is a 1926-27 Model T roadster, and the running gear is described as being 1930.

    And then there’s the matter of a battery sitting right next to the bungee-corded gas tank.

    It’s a cool looking car, but…

    Like 3
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Last 1LE:

      Good comment. The seller listed it as a 1928 model with 1930 running gear so that’s how it’s described.


  6. IkeyHeyman

    Funky gas tank installation aside, this looks like it would be fun for what it’s intended for. Daily driver it ain’t. We have a hill climb every year here in Colorado and this would fit right in.

  7. ArchitectureOnWheels

    An interesting build and certainly fun. Respectfully, a better treatment of interior appointments would have made it more attractive. The pressed fiberboard door skins and quarter side panels appear amateur and poorly installed. An “A” body would have been ergonomically a better fit, given the “T” body poses a challenge for anyone over six feet in height. $18K appears to be top heavy, $11-$13K will probably send it down the road….. slowly, but with some fun. Someone will love it.

  8. regg

    This is a 26-27 (last year) Model T Roadster. The tub and turtle deck are distinctive. Looks to be a clean body withe the rear sub frame intact.

    Call it what you want but this is what it is…

  9. Jeff

    Looks like late 40’s Ford gages in the dash.

  10. Johnny

    Where is $18,000 at hear? I can find alot better cares for alot less. No top,heater,air conditioner–I,ll pass.

  11. regg

    T hot rods were Lakes / Bonneville hot rods.

    Small, light and surprisingly aerodynamic. A metal one in good shape is hard to find. This is for someone who appreciates an early period hot rod.
    Not a poser.
    In fairness 18K is a fair starting place but the market is not hot for these. We’ll see.

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